You might have a number of tests to investigate your symptoms and confirm a diagnosis of oesophageal cancer, including: 

  • endoscopy, where an endoscope  (a thin tube with a light and a lens for viewing) is passed through the mouth into the digestive tract 
  • biopsy, where the endoscope is used to remove a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope 
  • endoscopic ultrasound, where an endoscope is used to perform an ultrasound by releasing sound waves – this can show how far the cancer has spread into the wall of the oesophagus 
  • computed tomography (CT) scan, which uses a series of X-rays to make a detailed picture of areas inside the body 
  • positron emission tomography (PET) scan, which takes pictures of areas of the body after a radioactive sugar has been injected into the blood. 
  1. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN guidelines for patients: esophageal and esophagogastric cancers.